Are you a tax professional working in practice and considering a move in-house? We look at some of the differences and examine the key benefits of making that move.
Positive jobs market
The good news for tax professionals thinking about moving in-house is that the jobs market in this area, while still tough, is improving. A key reason for this is that many smaller businesses are looking to reduce costs by bringing their tax functions in-house, recruiting a head of tax and then building a small team around this hire.
Whereas in practice you’ll be working on similar projects for different clients, you’ll be required to work on a wide variety of taxation projects if you work in-house. Although the extent to which this will be the case will depend on the size of the business, the likelihood is your role will be much more varied and you’ll gain expertise in a far wider range of areas. This will ultimately make you more employable in the future.
Tax professionals working in-house also like the fact that they will get to oversee projects from start to finish. Whereas you can be pulled on and off projects when you work in practice depending on resources and manpower, you’ll gain the satisfaction of seeing them through to the end in-house.
Greater business interaction
In-house jobs are great for people who like to get out from behind their desks and interact with colleagues face-to-face. But you’ll have to bear in mind that you’ll be advising some people who have little or no taxation knowledge - you’ll therefore need to be patient, while also being able to explain complex taxation topics in layman’s terms.
You’re also likely to get face time with extremely senior stakeholders so you’ll have to be confident and have a certain gravitas about you. But, providing this is the case, these meetings can ultimately be great for your career.
Just because you take your first step in-house to a specific industry, it doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck there. While there are obviously some key differences depending on the business you work for, the fundamental principles of most tax jobs are fairly consistent.
In-house jobs are great for people who like to get out from behind their desks and interact with colleagues face-to-face.
Generally, the commonalities of the job are defined by size of the business and the jurisdictions it operates in. As a result, switching industries is not as uncommon as it might be in other professions. If you end up not liking working in-house, it’s possible to move back into practice.
Good earning potential
In-house tax jobs can also be lucrative. Our latest global salary survey shows that a Head of Tax can earn a salary of up to £300k in a commercial FTSE 100 business and up to £350k in banking and financial services. At the middle management level, a UK tax manager can command a salary of £60 - 85k in a FTSE 100 company and £65 - 85k in financial services. While a proportion of these figures are at the top of the salary brackets, they do show the earning potential.
Thinking of making the move out of practice? Read more of our top tips for moving in-house.
Or, find out how much you could earn using our Salary Survey.